Some FREE & really useful software
everybody should have

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Windows XP Desktop and Start menu

Restoring your computer to a pre-defined point

Updating Windows XP automatically

Where is the clipboard in XP?

Maintaining the computer running XP

What happened to ScanDisk?

Doing routine files and folders tasks in Windows XP

How to burn a CD in XP

How to use the Backup utility in Windows XP

Playing DVDs made for other regions

Simple suggestions to keep your computer running smoothly

Password help

Power saving tips

Some FREE & really useful software everybody should have

Links to some useful computer sites / articles

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Beginners in computing might find the following companion sites more useful:

The above sites are specially designed for seniors who are new to computing.

For those who are afraid to upgrade to Windows 8.1, I have good news. Just click on the following link and check it out yourself.


You can make your computer more efficient, enjoyable, and productive by installing some really useful and FREE software which you can download from the Internet. Depending on your need, the following software are highly recommended. There are many more available. But most people will find the following really useful. Many of these software programs are used by students or office workers daily. PDFs files are frequently found on both home and office computers. You are likely to find Adobe Reader installed on most computers, whether they are used by an office assistant at a Houston criminal defense lawyer office, or by a college student writing a research paper.

  • AVG (Anti-virus)
    Download AVG anti-virus from here.

  • Ad-Aware (Anti-spyware)
    Download Ad-Aware from here.

  • SpyBot Search & Destroy (Anti-spyware) - It is good to have two anti-spyware.
    Download SpyBot S&D from here.

  • Zone Alarm (Firewall)
    Download Zone Alarm from here.

    Note: If you are using Norton Internet Security or McAfee Total Protection, you do not need any of the above free applications. Just make sure that you are getting regular and automatic updates of Norton or McAfee.

  • Adobe Reader (Reads PDF files)
    Download Adobe Reader from here.

  • Adode Flash Player (Enhances your Internet experience)
    Download Flash Player here.

  • Adode Shockwave Player (Enhances your Internet experience)
    Install Flash Player here.

  • Winzip (Zip/Unzip software) - This is a shareware. 45-day free trial.
    Download Winzip from here.

  • iTunes including Quick Time Player (Needed to use your iPod)
    Download iTunes from here.

  • Real Player (Play and download videos from the Internet)
    Download Real Player from here.

  • Skype (Free calls, video calls and instant messaging over the Internet)
    Download Skype from here.

  • AbiWord (Free word processor that works almost like Microsoft Word)
    Download AbiWord here.

  • IrfanView (Graphic viewer and editor)
    Download IrfanView from here.

  • Picasa (Photo editing and organizing software)
    Download Picasa from here.

  • File-Zilla (The free FTP solution)
    Download File-Zilla from here.

  • Easy WiFi Radar (Lets you find FREE Internet connection for your laptop anywhere)
    Download Easy WiFi Radar from here.

  • VLC media player (The media player that fills all your needs. It can handle DVDs, VCDs, Audio CDs, web streams, TV cards and much more)
    Download VLC media player from here.

  • Final Media Player (Get Final Media Player if you are tired of messing with codecs or tired of seeing the dreaded "Windows cannot open this file" error message)
    Download Final Media Player from here.

But be very careful about freeware. Dubious brands or dubious sources are known to contain malware (like spyware). Better be safe than sorry. The ones I recommended above, if downloaded from the sources indicated, are all safe.

It is also good to have more than one browser. In addition to IE, get Mozilla Firefox. It is FREE and reliable. (Download Firefox browser from here.) Most Windows users today use IE. But many people swear by Firefox claiming Firefox is a safer browser because it offers better protection from intrusion by external elements and makes browser hijacking more difficult. Some say it provides better phishing protection too. So far as I am concerned I use Internet Explorer 7.0 and I have never encountered any problem with it. But I have Firefox 3.0.7 too (though I rarely use it). Sometimes it is good to have two browsers to compare some aspects of a given Web site. Professional Webmasters always use several browsers to see how their Web site looks through different browsers.

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